Those who reported less than one hour a week of leisure time physical activity were classified as inactive 54 percent of all participants. Others were classified as low, medium, high or very high based on the duration and intensity of their exercise. Researchers calculated mortality risk and life expectancy for each group.
Thirteen other variables were analyzed: age, sex, education level, physical labor at work, smoking, alcohol use, fasting blood sugar, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, body mass index, diabetes, hypertension and history of cancer.
Those who engaged in low-volume exercise had lower death rates than inactive people regardless of age, gender, health status, tobacco use, alcohol consumption or cardiovascular disease risk.
The researchers note that the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. A third of U.S. adults meet that guideline; about 20 percent of adults in China, Japan or Taiwan meet it.
"A recommendation of 15 minutes of daily exercise should be promoted to East Asian populations," the authors note.
The study's findings of reduced mortality through even moderately intense exercise are likely to hold true for other populations, Wu said, even though the total amount of time spent or workout intensity required for a health benefit might differ. "These findings can stimulate people to exercise as much as they can and to not be frustrated that they can't reach the 30 minute per day guideline."
This is the first collaboration between Wu, Wen and the MJ Health Group, a major health screening company with more than 600,000 participants in its health database. They have formed the Asian Health Screening Cohort to conduct major research
|Contact: Scott Merville|
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center